Australian independent software vendors are emerging as a major chunk of Australian IT exports on the back of easy to deploy Cloud services which allow massive scale with little investment.
According to recent Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade figures, Australian exports of intellectual property for 2013 amounted to around $807 million.
Of that, about 32 per cent of the $807 million, or more than a quarter of a billion was generated by software IP and licensing.
NICTA technology strategist, Dean Economou, said he would like to see this figure look more like $8 billion after NICTA’s successfully developed and sold startup Yuruware to US company Unitrends for several million dollars.
“We need as a tech sector to get exports up there to that kind of level,” he said. “That would be success in my eyes.”
Economou said Unitrends was now setting up its APAC technology centre in Australia with plans to expand its technical team.
“This is an example of Australian IT which has now been sold to a US company, but the US company is paying Australian salaries and growing the team,” he said.
“This is exactly the kind of the high value job we want to grow in the country and we would like to see that happen a hundred more times.
"Overseas companies say they have got really interesting market problems, and what Australian has is extremely good people, very well trained, good output of universities, very innovative thinkers.
“If we can court the market problems for the rest of the word, we can export the solutions.”
Economou said Amazon Web Services played a pivotal role in the development of the company.
“Six laptops was the entire company’s hardware,” he said.
“We didn’t need any significant infrastructure. The point I would like to make when you build for a global market like that and a global platform there is no reason that someone won’t want to buy you or invest in your company, in any market.”
Amazon Web Services managing director, A/NZ, Ed Lenta, said Australia was exporting IT to the world and unveiled several successful Australian ISVs that had used used AWS as a launching pad for the their business.
They included Yellowfin, Hubcare, Adslot, Yuruware and TechnologyOne.
“Australian technology industry is regarded as having one of the most innovative in the world and as you know there have been many firsts from Australian technology: the export of IP, like eftpos, wireless LANs, black box flight recorders, I think even lawn mowers,” he said.
“The local software industry continues this trend taking innovative and really leading products to the global market and you will hear from some of the software companies today.
“We are seeing great local success here today and we are certainly confident of seeing more growth an innovation for the software community in Australia.”
In the last two years more than 700 Australian members have joined the Amazon Partner Network and a large proportion of those are ISVs.
Lenta said AWS Cloud was able to help ISVs in a number of ways.
“First of all, the Cloud lets ISVs focus on their customers, to focus on inventing great things for the customer.
“They don’t need to focus on the infrastructure.
“They can also realise massive productivity gains in the way that they develop and build the applications and software that they take to market.”
He said Cloud allowed ISVs to expand their global presence without actually worrying about physical presence in the countries that they want to do business.
“Cloud allows ISVs to dynamically respond to demand,” he said.
“ISVs don’t have waste cycles thinking about things like planning, they don’t have to worry about an inability to dynamically grow and shrink with customer demand.
"They don’t have to be as concerned with the investment risks when they think about entering new markets because so much of that investment already is a part of the underlying value of disruption.”
He said the Cloud also unlocked new deployment models and provided a way for software vendors to move to SaaS based posting models and deliver their software.
“It avoids the need for significant capital expenditure as you move to these SaaS based models, but also the Cloud or Amazon Web Services is able to provide innovative solutions that underpin the solutions of the ISVs."